Legal teams in the Prop. 8 trial made what is expected to be their last appearance before the Ninth Circuit Court Of Appeals this afternoon, with plaintiffs explaining why videotapes of the Proposition 8 trial should be publicly accessible and why Proponents’ motion to vacate judgment is meritless. Get the details of what happened inside the court after the jump.
Accoding to AFER, a number of media companies including the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, CNN, FOX News, NBC News, Dow Jones & Co. and The Associated Press presented oral arguments today in support of the plaintiffs’ effort to release the trial tapes.
“The video recording of the trial truly and accurately shows the powerful evidence we submitted showing that Proposition 8 flatly violates the Constitution," said plaintiffs' lead co-counsel Theodore B. Olson. “Proponents have offered no legitimate or compelling justification for keeping the trial videotape concealed from the public. We are anxious for the American people to see the evidence and testimony the district court had before it.”
An AFER press release also states that the Ninth Circuit also heard oral arguments on Proponents’ baseless and offensive attempt to impugn the reputation of the U.S. District Chief Judge who struck down Proposition 8. Prop. 8 supporters claim that the now-retired Chief Judge Walker was disqualified from ruling on Proposition 8 because he is gay and in a same-sex relationship. Since Chief Judge Walker did not recuse himself, Proponents argue that his historic decision should be vacated.
“What Proponents insist on today is nothing short of a double standard within the federal judiciary; one that applies to gay judges but not to their straight colleagues,” said plaintiffs’ lead co-counsel David Boies. “Nothing in our law—not one case—supports this regrettable attack on Chief Judge Walker.”
Indeed, Proponents' attorney Charles J. Cooper admitted in court today that no individual’s existing marriage will be directly affected if gay and lesbian couples are permitted to marry. Most legal watchers agree that it is unlikely the court will rule to vacate judgement.
“Our Constitution’s promise, the promise of liberty, is one that every generation must realize. The fight to secure marriage equality is the defining element of our generation’s search for greater freedom,” said AFER Board President (and 2011 Instinct Leading Man) Chad Griffin. “Try as they might, the anti-marriage proponents of Proposition 8 cannot stop our Nation’s courts—and its honorable judges—from protecting truth and justice over prejudice and fear.”
The Ninth Circuit is expected to issue a decision on the merits of the case soon.